Review of New CDC Guidelines

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been updating its COVID-19 guidance over the past month, and ACPS has made these updates to the information resources that families and staff can access on the ACPS Health & Safety Guidelines web page. In addition, ACPS families and staff will see that the Daily Symptom Checklist for staff and students, as well as the contact-tracing process, have been updated according to the new CDC guidance. These new updates from the CDC are summarized below and posted on the ACPS website.

CDC Update: Isolation for Individuals with Positive Tests

The new guidance for isolation for individuals who have positive test results for COVID-19 applies to everyone, regardless of vaccination status, as follows:

  • Stay home for at least five days. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms have resolved after five days, you can leave your house on day six.
  • Continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others for five additional days. Those who cannot mask should isolate for five additional days.
  • If you continue to have symptoms after day five, stay home until symptoms are resolved.
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever is gone for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. 

CDC Update: Quarantine for Close Contacts

If you came into close contact with someone with COVID-19 and you are in one of the following groups, you do not need to quarantine:

  • You are ages 18 or older and have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised people.
  • You are ages 5-17 years and completed the primary series (dose one and two of a two-dose vaccine; dose one of a one-dose vaccine) of COVID-19 vaccines.
  • You had confirmed COVID-19 within the last 90 days (you tested positive using a viral test).

If you come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you should quarantine if you are in one of the following groups:

  • You are ages 18 or older and completed the primary series of recommended vaccines, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • You received the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) over two months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
  • You are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series (dose one and two of a two-dose vaccine; dose one of a one-dose vaccine).

Updated guidance from the CDC to help individuals who need to quarantine is as follows:

  • Stay home and away from other people for at least five days (day zero through day five) after your last contact with a person who has COVID-19. The date of your exposure is considered day zero. Wear a well-fitting mask when around others at home, if possible.
  • For 10 days after your last close contact with someone with COVID-19, watch for fever (100.4 F or greater), cough, shortness of breath or other COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Wear a well-fitted mask for 10 full days any time you are around others inside your home or in public. Do not go to places where you are unable to wear a mask.
  • If you develop symptoms, get tested immediately and isolate until you receive your test results. If you test positive, follow isolation recommendations.

CDC Update: Booster Shots

Based on the Jan. 5, 2022 CDC recommendation, the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) is implementing the following new changes pertaining to booster shots:

  • Individuals ages 12 and over should obtain a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster dose five months after finishing their first two doses. (previously boosters were 16 and over and interval of six months).
    • For those who received Moderna, boosters are still at six months.
    • For those who received J&J, boosters are still at two months.
  •  5-11 year-old vaccine recipients who are moderately or severely immunocompromised are eligible to receive a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine 28 days after the second dose.